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Smith: One of 'Mommies' duo still on stage

  • 12/31/2006: B5: PETALUMA'S OWN Caryl Kristensen, left, and Marilyn Kentz gained national attention as "The Mommies."

Twenty short years ago, Santa Rosa-born Marilyn Kentz was pinching herself to be starring with Petaluma pal Caryl Kristensen in the NBC-TV comedy, "The Mommies."

When we met for coffee the other day, Marilyn, still funny and still performing at 66, was prepping for her first stage show since the unexpected death of her husband, Richard, on April 25.

"It goes into the show; it has to," she said.

Her constantly evolving comedy-music-wisdom act, "Will I Ever Wear a Bikini Again?" plumbs the surprises and vicissitudes of aging. To have her heart crushed by the loss of her husand of 34 years — Richard collapsed at their home in Berkeley when she was away — is something she'll wrestle with on stage.

Marilyn seems ready to take it on at her 8 p.m. performance Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. And the Baby Boomer from Montgomery High — Class of '65 — clearly looks forward to sharing the performance with four local women she recruited to sing with her as The Boomerettes.

Someone else might call them a backup chorus. Marilyn praises them as her cover-up vocalists.

She said, "I needed someone to cover up my horrible singing."

MARIA DE LOS ANGELES is another much-talented Sonoma County woman who went away and is happy to be coming home.

Maria is the young artist whose family disintegrated after her parents slipped into California from Mexico when she was 10. Her father vanished and her mother lived on the streets as she studied hard and focused on art at Elsie Allen and then Santa Rosa High.

From SRJC, Maria went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on scholarships and the proceeds of selling her art. She has just concluded her first year in the Master of Fine Arts program at Yale.


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